Archive - August, 2007

Airport A Go-Go

McClaren Stroller

I had always marveled at Mariska Hargitay’s cheekbones, and then when I found out her mother was Jayne Mansfield, it all made sense.

And look at her son, so cute with his blankie!

They are sensibly pushing him around in a McClaren Quest Sport stroller. Mariska has excellent taste, because this is exactly the same stroller I bought for my son when we were ready to move him out of his infant system. She joins Gwen Stefani and Sarah Jessica Parker in sharing my stroller preference. I am such the trendsetter, I know!

I can’t say too many good things about this stroller. It is an umbrella stroller with heft, but not added weight. It has an all aluminum frame construction so it won’t fall apart in a year, and which makes it easy to push around without feeling like you are trying to steer a bus. It turns on a dime, and it is very comfortable for the young ones. It folds up very compactly and have I said already that it weighs practically nothing? I have been known to lug it around by the shoulder strap. With no complaint. At Disneyland no less! And I think I only clipped maybe one or two people with it. Because they weren’t paying attention, of course.

Also, my husband loves it because he is 6’2′ and McClaren strollers were the only ones that made the handles high enough for him to be comfortable pushing it instead of having to walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Trust me, he has never been able to use that excuse to not push the stroller.

And speaking of husbands, Mariska’s is sporting some pretty fierce loafers!

The Prince and the Pea

I have always wondered why clothing manufacturers insist on putting huge, sometimes multiple tags on children’s clothes.

 

They drive my son nuts.  He was known as a toddler to frantically clutch the back of his neck and simultaneously howl his disapproval of the tags.   Like the princess of the fairy tale, he was so sensitive to any sort of uncomfortable fabric that he refused to even lie down until it was gone.  I know, I know, I won the lottery with this one, didn’t I?  I would have to remove the offending garment from his delicate personage, get some scissors, and cut off the tag right then and there.  At first I tried to plead with him to just go to bed and deal, since the primary offenders seem to be pajama manufacturers, but it was futile. By now, it is routine for me to inspect all of his clothes pre-donning and wield the scissors when necessary.

 

And I think that somewhere out there are people who take great delight in trying to find the scratchiest material known to man, just so they can attach it to the back of pajamas for a three month old.   They must be in cahoots with the scissor industry or something.

 

I was delighted when I learned that some companies were beginning to ban the tags and instead print the information on the article of clothing itself.  I actually try to look for clothing with the printing, because it just saves me time and I’m lazy like that.                                                              

Tag                     

 

However, not enough of them are doing it because I still need to regularly hack off those tags.

 

 

 

 

the Voracious Reader

Etsy is a strange and foreign land, a land populated by hipster/craftster hybrids who, all too often, produce objects which are equal parts amusing and repulsive, and utterly, utterly useless.

Unlike this supercute onesie:

I chew books

And, HELLO! ten bucks!

Via Doppelganger’s 50Books blog, from whence I also stole the title.

This is a great little gift for a spirited and book-loving baby! HANDPAINTED, 100% cotton onesie is comfy and tagless to prevent the itchies. Paints used are non-toxic and stay color-and-image-true, wash after wash.

Onesie comes rolled and tied with coordinating ribbon. Nora Bella hang tags are also included. Gift wrap and name card for baby are FREE — just let me know in the “notes” at checkout.

Although I’m well aware of the practical reasons for having separate tops and bottoms on babies, I must confess to a weakness for onesies; they’re just so damned adorable! And very handy for hanging around the house, as most babies tend to do a fair bit of. The self-mockery of the message is acceptable because presumably everyone who will see it at home knows, and loves, the baby. I’m not fond of self-mocking tees chosen by adults that make fun of the baby wearing them, because this, of course, is the sort of thing that sends the baby to therapy when it’s a bit older, but in this case and those circumstances, it’s all right. I wouldn’t put this on a baby and parade it at the American Book Fair or something.

Bandanna Nation

(Scene: An American living room)

Mom: You know dear, I’m reading about a show with kids that CBS is filming.  They’re looking for participants.  I’m thinking little Jimmy might have some fun. You know, get him out of school and let him stretch his wings a bit. 

Dad: What’s it about?

Mom: Well, it says here that if we sign this little contract, little Jimmy would basically be out in the New Mexico desert, unsupervised, in conditions that could kill him.  And, there may or may not be doctors around that could help him if he gets hurt.

Dad: Hmmm.  I’m not sure I like the sound of that.

Mom: Oh, and if he does die, CBS and the producers are absolved of any and all liability. 

Dad: (scratching his head) Sounds kinda fishy. Can they really do that?

Mom:  Honey, it’s the media, they can do whatever they want.  He will do manual labor in order to keep himself alive, and he may or may not contract a sexually transmitted disease.  Which won’t be CBS’s fault, either.

Dad: I’m leaning towards no.

Mom: But listen, if he gets picked, he will be paid five thousand dollars!  And every episode, he has a chance to win a gold star that will be good for an extra twenty grand! 

Dad: Where do I sign?

Mom: Right here.

Mom: But wait, I’m really not sure about Jimmy wearing one of those bandannas.  It makes him look a little dorky.  I don’t even like the word “bandanna.” It’s just awkward.

Dad: It’s five thousand dollars! Maybe even twenty five thousand!

Mom: You’re right.  What’s a little humiliation?  Give me that pen.

Kid Nation

Rockin’ the Glasses

Angelina and sons

I need to focus on some children other than my own right now.  Especially since mine just spilled his drink all over his father’s library book   And so I give you Maddox and Pax Jolie-Pitt.  I never realized, but I wonder if they purposely named them both so their names ended in x?  I know, I have way too much time on my hands.

This picture is what life is all about.  This is exactly the kind of super fantastic-ness that the Manolo alluded to in his introductory post.  When the world becomes a place where a kid can’t parade around in silly glasses, then that’s a world I don’t want to live in anymore.

And, how much do I love Maddox and his bad self?  Pax is a cutie as well, although I think that with all the hauling around of children that Angelina does, methinks she has no need for the gym.

Panic! At the Clothing Store

When I found out I was going to have a boy, (and yes, I was one of those anal people who had to know in advance what gender of child I was having) my heart began beating a bit faster.   Mostly due to panic.

Panic, of course, because I was going to have a baby and during that first pregnancy, your mind just sort of boggles around the concept.  You try to grasp what is going to happen to your life, but most imaginings fall short.

And panic because I knew that there were just no good clothes out there for boys.  Well, perhaps there were a few, but I wasn’t sure my bank account was willing to give up quite so much for something that would be outgrown in four months, tops.

Before the parents and people with girls in their lives jump all over me, just stop and think for a second.  When you walk into a children’s clothing store, what do you see?  Are your eyes greeted with hangers upon hangers of rugby polos, or are there dresses and stretch pants and bubble skirts and any other variation of clothing the manufacturers can think of that pertain to feminine dressing?  This was also sagely noted by my esteemed co-blogger, raincoaster.

The bulk of the store always contains girls clothes, usually with the boys relegated to some dark corner in the back.  And depending on the retailer, with or without cobwebs.

It’s sort of like being invited to a party, but when you get there, everyone else is being served caviar and champagne.  You, on the other hand, are lucky to get some stale crackers and warm juice.

Why is this?

The women in these little boys’ lives are plenty willing to spring for nice clothes.  If only we could find them.

Oh sure, there are a few clothing lines that try to tweak those standard polos, graphic tees, and cargo pants.  But there aren’t nearly enough.

Part of my mission here at Teeny Manolo is to help shed light on clothing for boys that is made with style and quality, clothing that sets itself apart from the clones found in countless stores.  But, not too different.  Too different leads to being made fun of and not being invited to birthday parties. 

So, even if it takes me hours days weeks a while to discover clothes that meet the Glinda stamp of approval, I promise I will find them! Eventually!

Thinking Out of the Box, As it Were

I remember my school lunches very vividly. My mother was cutting-edge in the seventies in that she latched on to the health food movement when all of perhaps 1,000 people in the United States were doing it.

I went from bologna sandwiches and chips to peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat with an apple. I was devastated because who wants to trade their Twinkie for an apple? Nobody, that’s who.

I also remember hating my lunches because they sat in my lunchbox, moldering all morning long in the coat room. By the time lunchtime rolled around, anything that was supposed to be cold was nowhere near, and anything that should have been warm was no longer. That seems like it should defy the laws of physics, doesn’t it? How does a cold thing get warm and a hot thing cold in the same box? I say the government should spend some of those research dollars on this topic, don’t you agree?

Anyhoo, lunches have evolved greatly since those days, and it’s high time they did. The paper sack was discarded in favor of a lunch box or reusable bag. Then, the reusable bag/lunchbox added insulation to better ensure that food temperatures stayed true.

Apparently for the hip moms, even those are passe now.

It’s all about the bento. And listen, the debate on whether kids today are more spoiled can be for another day. Today I’m all about the lunches.

These are not necessarily the laquered kind served to you in Japanese restaurants, or even the kind that Molly Ringwald had for her sushi in The Breakfast Club. No, some of these babies are pretty high tech.

mr-bento.jpg

 

I kind of like this because it looks fairly indestructible. You can stack the lidded bowls in the stainless steel canister. To me, stainless steel spells long-lasting, and if I’m going to spend that kind of money on a lunch “system” it had better make it through a year of dropping on the floor by accident. Which as we all know happens way more than you would think. Or perhaps my kid is just a klutz. Don’t answer that. Even on sale, it is a bit pricey.

Or you can be creative like my bloggy friend J, and create your own bento with brightly colored individual containers. Behold the beauty of this balanced lunch:

bento.jpg

So, this year, try to do something different with lunches. You just might surprise yourself with your brilliant ideas. And if you have any, please share them with the rest of us!

It’s That Time of Year Again

Sooner than we realize, it will be time for the dreaded school picture.

It used to be that for the rest of eternity, only the top half of the outfit was to be visible.  All the parents of yore had to do was convince their child to wear at least a semi-decent shirt or sweater, and comb their hair.  Depending on the age group, both of those things can be tough. They were then good to go, and the biggest worry was that whatever was deemed in fashion at the time wouldn’t look supremely horrible in twenty years.  Although I think it is some sort of family tradition to go through the photo albums and make fun of the way your parents looked.   And no, I won’t be posting any of my class photos, thank you very much.

The class picture is a torture that everyone at some point is forced to endure. There are basic pointers to follow, such as avoiding white and making sure the remnants of your lunch and/or breakfast are no longer adhering to your face. Even with these well-known safeguards in place, there are those who still manage to bungle it. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you an example of how not to look for the class picture, courtesy of none other than Mr. George Clooney, circa whenever-bad-bowl-cuts-and-large-glasses-may-or-may-not-have-been-hip.  My friends, study this example and learn from his mistakes, I beg of you. 

george_clooney_13.jpg

Even though I am slightly traumatized by this picture, I want George to know that I totally blame his parents.

There will be a quiz on this later.

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